Project Title: Asynchronous Neural Activity: New Underpinnings in Epilepsy?
Student: Eugene Lim ’16
Mentor: Dr. Christian Fink
Neural oscillations as measured with electroencepholography (EEG) and similar methods have long been associated with neuronal activity in the brain, and have since been extensively studied in relation to epileptic seizures. In particular, abnormal, large-amplitude oscillations associated with focal seizures have been observed to be of high frequency (>200 Hz) and have been linked to excessive synchronous neuronal firing. Recent experimental studies, however, have demonstrated that similar oscillations may occur in the absence of neuronal synchrony. In this study, we propose a mathematical model describing the emergence of narrowband oscillations which arise from completely independent and asynchronous neuronal activity. The model predicts observable oscillations up to measurable bounds on the periodicity and variability of neuronal spike timing. Comparisons against a separately constructed computational model demonstrate close agreement between the models. These results suggest a new framework in understanding neural oscillations, and may potentially describe new underpinnings to epilepsy.